Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

NY Times/WSJ best-selling author Orrin Woodward shares his life leadership secrets.

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    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.




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Free Societies & Coercive States

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 28, 2013

LIFE Leadership

LIFE Leadership

The excerpt is from an upcoming book I am slowly writing on the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) and the Six Duties of Society (SDS). Throughout history, fulfilling the SDS has created growth, wealth, and prosperity in society; however, it also initiated the FLD as people calculated that exploitation of others production was easier than producing themselves.  In fact, what I will display through numerous case-studies is the predictable systematic process of the SDS rise and the FLD decline.

LIFE Leadership teaches many systematic methods to build long-term sustainable cultures and understanding the SDS and FLD will help any leader building culture.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The word society derives from the Latin word socius meaning a companion. The companionship is voluntary and is entered into for mutual benefits. Because man has innate social instincts, he associates with other human beings to satisfy this need. Nevertheless, these free groupings are not as interested in increased freedom, per se, as in increased liberty. Educator Felix Morley elaborates:

Regardless of the social institution we stop to consider – whether it be the family as the oldest know cooperative unit, or an association of atomic scientists as a modern manifestation – we see similar evidences of self-imposed restraint. Husband and wife put definite limits on their individual freedom, in order to promote certain objectives, such as rearing of children, which they have in common. And the atomic scientists in congress assembled are making comparable individual sacrifices for their particular common end. So it seems to be the nature of human association, whether voluntary or involuntary, to limit the condition of freedom for those whose association is something more merely than casual.

Mr. Morley’s distinction between freedom and liberty is essential for understanding non-coercive volunteer societies. Individuals in a free community setting, voluntarily limit their personal freedoms for an enlargement of its members liberties. For instance, if drivers refused to limit their “freedom” to drive on any side of the road they want, society’s driving liberties would be greatly impaired. For few would risk driving on roads when no established “rules of the road” are in place. Paradoxically, although freedom for the individual driver is greatly increased (he can drive as he chooses), the liberty of all drivers within the society is greatly decreased. Safe driving requires individuals to voluntarily submit to the “rules of the road” so that liberty of driving is enjoyed by all. In this example, because the drivers refused to temper their individual freedoms, society lost its driving liberties. The only alternative would be to hire thousands of extra police officers to patrol the roads and restrain recalcitrants by force. What society refused to do by self-restraint is now enforced by increased State coercion.

The above principles are true in all voluntary associations. The group loses liberty when its individuals refuse to freely restrain their personal freedoms. In fact, voluntary restraint on personal freedoms for increased enjoyment of societal liberties is essential for free civilizations. Liberty requires minimum State involvement and self-sacrifice of personal freedoms for the common good of society by its members. The following explanation, again by Morley, is so poignant on this point that the author feels compelled to share it in full: “That which is limited by continuous association is the indulgence of individual appetites, passions, and animal instincts – the carnal side of man. That which is expanded by continuous association is the perfection of individual skills, ambitions, and aspirations – the spiritual side of man. Thus, continuous voluntary association may and does limit the physical condition of freedom. But it does so to enlarge the moral endowment of liberty.” Throughout history, mankind has enjoyed the benefits of association enough to limit his freedom and increase the liberty within society.

As liberty within society expands, options increases as to activities and occupations to pursue for its members. The division of functions leads to additional specialization in each field. This increases the skills and technological know-how within each branch of society and the division of labor rapidly increases the production and choices available in society. In a free society, because of the natural diversity and variety within mankind, people are provided increased options to choose the field that best suits their individual gifts and passions. Economist Murray Rothbard explains, “For, as an economy grows the range of choice open to the producer and to the consumer proceeds to multiply greatly. Furthermore, only a society with a standard of living considerably higher than subsistence can afford to devote much of its resources to improving knowledge and to developing a myriad of goods and services able the level of brute subsistence.” Indeed, it’s the liberty enjoyed within a free society that allows mankind to plan, do, check, and adjust his choices to set and satisfy his personal goals and dreams while benefitting society in the process. Liberty, in sum, leads to specialization, division of labor, increased wealth, and increased options for society’s members. However, the increase wealth also leads to increased temptation for some to plunder a neighbor’s wealth rather than produce his own.

22 Responses to “Free Societies & Coercive States”

  1. Scott Russell said

    “What society refused to do by self-restraint is now enforced by increased State coercion.”
    This is why we have Life Leadership to stop this cycle and bring this country back to responsibilities not just rights!! Look forward to another great book!!

    Scott R

  2. Joe McGuire said

    Outstanding!

  3. Olivier Jean-Baptiste said

    Hi Orrin,
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    “What society refused to do by self-restraint is now enforced by increased State coercion” is from my humble opinion the most important sentence from your blog post today. Given that society is made of all the individuals in some form of association or another, it follows that the real game changer toward the edification of a society that honors liberty and consequently foster prosperity and virtue is only sustainably achievable when the individuals are engages in self-restrain and when one is committed to conduct himself in a value driven and principle centered manner within one specific sphere of influence. If I get it right, no wonder that the concept of Accept, Approve and Appreciate is such a foundational recommended interaction mode that all individual should abide to if a constructive dialogue needs to happen before anything can get done.

    Thanks,
    Olivier

  4. Florio Mazares said

    Our ability to PDCA to our own goals & dreams is an excellent way to measure liberty within a society! Keep it coming Orrin!!!

  5. J.J. said

    Government will come from within or government will come from without, but government will come. It will come from within in the form of self govern responsible people or it will come from without by obsesive laws, regulations, and state coercion. To me this is the consept that James was trying to realy with the” law of liberty.”
    James 1:25
    “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
    We are free in Christ because the law is now written on the hearts of the believer, and we can now restrain our fallen nature through the power of the Holy Spirit. ” If men where angels we wouldn’t need government “…….. Maybe because we would be a government onto ourselves.
    Freedom itself, both personal and political my lay in personal responsibility . I can’t wait to hear the seven duties of society’s .
    Thank you orrin for all that you do

  6. Jonathan Brandenberger said

    ‘Individuals in a free community setting, voluintarily limit their personal freedoms for an enlargement of its members liberties.’

    It took me months to learn and understand this principle. And even though I knew it, there is know way I could have explained or said this in its most simple form. Now I can. Its a balance of TRUE law, and grace. ;) Thanks to all you Leaders out there!

    Jonny.

  7. J.J. said

    Six duties I guess you can add in an extra one if it will fit.

  8. Jonathan Brandenberger said

    Thanks to our Almighy God in Heaven.

    *credit where it belongs. ;)

  9. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    Another book– Amazing!! Thank you for your insight Orrin.

  10. Wow, great stuff Orrin! Can’t wait for this up-coming book!

  11. Sandra Montenegro said

    Orrin,
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I learned the difference of independence and interdependence and now the difference of one person’s freedom and society’s liberty. I love this paragraph because it describes what LIFE Leadership is all about “Indeed, it’s the liberty enjoyed within a free society that allows mankind to plan, do, check, and adjust his choices to set and satisfy his personal goals and dreams while benefitting society in the process.”

    God bless,
    Sandra

  12. Keith Sieracki said

    Awesome discussion. Looking forward to the book!

  13. matt mielke said

    Fascinating Orrin! When building LIFE communities, some people will ask (I know I did), “why do we have to get together every tuesday night and one saturday a month?” In essence what I was asking is, “why do I have to give up the freedoms to do what I want with my time?” The answer is in Morley’s description of association. Without continuous association we will tend to focus on our personal desires, or, as Morley writes, “indulgence of individual appetites, passions, and animal instincts – the carnal side of man.” In my experience, I get lazy and selfish because I have no one to compare myself or my circumstances to.

    But, when we associate with others, something wonderful can happen. It is subtle and fragile, but when done right, association holds individuals accountable and provides a benchmark for improvement of our behaviors and circumstances. Morley wrote, “That which is expanded by continuous association is the perfection of individual skills, ambitions, and aspirations – the spiritual side of man.” SO without association, we tend to gravitate toward our selfish desires and not those of society.

    With association, we can check our thinking and behaviors to a higher level which in turn can help us grow personally and that can transfer to the betterment of society. There is a danger to association though, if the group isn’t grounded in moral principles, and I’ll argue for biblical standards, then associations of people become a “mob” living out group “carnal” behaviors as recently observed in MTV’s VMA awards.

    So, within regular association that is grounded in good moral(biblical) principles, an individual can still strive toward improving oneself, but will also have a motivation to use those skills not just for personal gain but for the betterment of the communities we live in. That’s why we meet in our LIFE communities on a regular basis.

    Thanks for the great article Orrin.

  14. Ian Cox said

    “Liberty, in sum, leads to specialization, division of labor, increased wealth, and increased options for society’s members.”

    I find it interesting that you summed up freedom with specialization and division of labor. Karl Marx showed “division of labor” as the great killer of man’s soul. By not allowing him to truly create or produce, but dumbing him down by rote conveyor belt actions. I also see that specialization is overdone today; thus the “Professional Politicians.” Statistically speaking we’re only educated in one field which I think aides the 2nd (Bastiat’s) and 3rd (Gresham’s) laws of decline.

    Hear me out though, I’m not in disagreement with you in the least. I might be way of the mark you were actually trying to say, but the connection I made because you used those specific terms I find powerful.

    As you quoted Rothbard that progression and liberty occurs when we are no longer chained to brute subsistence, as well as your statement of the possibility we have to PDCA towards our goals and dreams drove the point home to me. Yes, we shouldn’t get trapped in the employee mentality of specialization and division of labor, but Adam Smith points out beautifully that division of labor is an innate part of association. And being such, if we specialize in our goals, dreams, and our specific purpose, each unto his own, that is the natural division of labor of accomplishing what every man and woman was created to do, what every man and woman is best at doing.

    Maybe I’m looking for something that’s not there, but that the principles of “Specialization” and “Division of Labor” are taken to an extreme today by an employee mentality; I found it very insightful that you used those specific terms to sum up liberty.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Ian, sadly, most people have not used their free time to benefits themselves. Instead, they have entertained themselves to death. Further, government has taxed most of the increase in wealth forcing people to work in specialized jobs with little time to round themselves out. Marx was utopian and the his concept of every man being able to do every job in the communist utopia is simply unworkable and inconceivable. It takes 10,000 hours to master any field, assuming you are PDCAing, and thus, few fields can be mastered in a lifetime. Accordingly, div of labor and specialization are essential to society’s health. thanks, Orrin

  15. Great article!

  16. Steve Meixner said

    Orrin, The example of Driving a car is excellent! Giving up a little Freedom so all can have Liberty. That’s where it needed to stop. The State coercion stepped in with seat belts, helmets, car seats, no riding in backs of trucks, etc….Lots of lost FREEDOM…..
    Steve

  17. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    Society makes choices and now its time to make some right choices. We all have fallen victim and we all can decide to not stay that way! That’s a great thing Life does is pull people back to there potential and teach them to get their freedoms back! We’ve lost too much already!
    God Bless!

  18. Scott Staley said

    Great teachers take the complex, and make it seem simple. I love your insight and look forward to the new book!

  19. KellyJack Nelson said

    Thanks Orrin

  20. Justin Rowe said

    “The group loses liberty when its individuals refuse to freely restrain their personal freedoms. In fact, voluntary restraint on personal freedoms for increased enjoyment of societal liberties is essential for free civilizations. Liberty requires minimum State involvement and self-sacrifice of personal freedoms for the common good of society by its members.”

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and leading by example. The more I learn of you, and the sacrifices you continually make of your own personal time and financial resources, the more respect I have for you and what you stand for. You are not sitting on past accomplishments, but continuing to pay it forward to countless generations. All I can say is, thank you and all glory be to God!

  21. This book is going to be a breath of fresh air for any hungry student!

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